For many decades the bright yellow Caterpillar marine propulsion engines have formed the steadily thumping heart of commercial vessels on oceans all over the planet. But what many don’t know is that Caterpillar also produces an extensive range of high performance marine engines, tailored to the specific wants and needs of pleasure craft owners and operators.
In the Netherlands, Pon Power has been importing and distributing Caterpillar since 1926, making the company the oldest Caterpillar dealer in Europe. At Pon Power’s headquarters in Papendrecht, Francois Longayroux and Kees van der Zwet are responsible for both national and international clients and dedicated for the yachting industry. They explain: “In the world of pleasure crafts and mega yachts, owners have different needs than in commercial shipping. Of course the most important issues are performance, reliability and efficiency. But appearance and understanding the business also matter greatly. Yacht owners want a high-performance and fuel efficient engine that’s very compact and looks great. We recognized those needs and developed a product range that pretty much ticks all these boxes.”
As said: in the world of yachting the importance of looks cannot be underestimated and this also goes for the engine. The pleasure craft engine range therefore doesn’t have the ‘classic’ yellow Caterpillar paint job; it’s delivered in a distinctive and sophisticated yacht-class white finish. Longayroux: “A Cat pleasure craft engine differs from the commercially used engines. With unpainted wiring harness and engine mounted hoses, it is specifically designed and built for this industry with its specific demands concerning look and feel. Not only does the engine have a sleek white finish; all visible components, for instance, have been designed to look great.” When it comes to yachting, Longayroux knows what he’s talking about. “At Pon Power we have a dedicated team, with many years of specialized experience in the yacht building industry. We know what demanding clients in this business expect and are constantly working on meeting their high expectations. This means clients have one dedicated account manager, to keep the lines short and direct. We take pride in being flexible and quick to respond, and we are ready to offer bespoke solutions if required.”
With a Cat engine, a yacht owner not only buys a reliable, efficient and worldwide-recognized piece of machinery, but also peace of mind. Longayroux explains: “As part of a family business, we understand the power of relationships. We believe that only if clients meet outstanding service at any point in the life cycle of their engine, we can truly build a lasting relationship with them. With our nationwide service coverage we are proud to say that we can deliver 98% of our parts within 24 hours. And this dedication doesn’t end at the border: thanks to the international Caterpillar service network, we can provide our clients with fast, professional support, service and parts, 24/7, wherever in the world they are.” He adds, smiling: “For 90 years we have been living up to the trust that ship owners, captains and crews worldwide have placed in us. And we intend to do so for the next 90 years as well.”
The steady stream of superyachts being launched in Holland is the most visible sign of the prominence of the Dutch superyacht industry. Now, with the release of the industry statistics for 2017, there are some impressive hard facts to back up a story of ongoing growth. The Dutch saw their market share in the total value of global superyacht deliveries rise from 21.6% in 2016 to almost 30% in 2017, an increase of 7.6% on the 2016 figure. With 21 superyachts launched for owners around the world in 2017 and 23 new orders taken, there is much more to come in the years ahead.
The statistics contained in the annual Superyacht IQ report are keenly anticipated by industry watchers around the world as they give a clear factual picture of developments that cuts through the commercial noise. While the superyacht sector is seen as revolving around luxury and comfort by the wider public, owners and their representatives are also keen to know where the best value can be attained. The latest figures illustrate that the unrivalled cost-to-quality offered by the Dutch superyacht cluster is becoming ever more apparent to those who invest in their pleasure.
In essence, the Dutch are selling more superyachts at a higher total value, while also steadily increasing their market share over the past five years. The 21 deliveries over 30 metres made in 2017 were by ten different yards. The superyachts concerned had a total value of €1.19 billion, which translates into an average price of €57 million per superyacht (an increase of almost 10%). It is also the highest total value recorded to date.
Compared to 2016, these figures represent a growth of almost 17% (from 18 to 21 deliveries) and 28% (from €927 million to €1.19 billion). The number of new orders over 30 metres in length also rose by almost 28%, from 18 to 23, with 22 being for motor yachts and one for a sailing yacht.
Turning to the global picture, the estimated total value of the 149 completed yachts over 30 metres in 2017 was €4.08 billion. With their figure of €1.19 billion, the Dutch superyacht yards now have a value market share of 29.2%, up from 21.6% in 2016. Holland’s proportion of the global market in terms of the number of deliveries grew from 11.2% in 2016 to 14.1% in 2017.
What none of these facts take into account is also the enormous amount of equipment from expert Dutch companies that is installed in superyachts built elsewhere in the world. It is this in-depth strength of the Dutch superyacht cluster that HISWA Holland Yachting Group export director Jeroen Sirag attributes to the continuous growth of his country’s market share.
“Our association is very much focused on the exclusivity of our group, ensuring that we represent the leading Dutch firms in each of their respective fields as well as the world’s top yards. Our ‘Think Yachts, Think Holland’ campaign, devised by and for the members, has really struck a chord among superyacht owners. We offer a strong and unified face to the outside world though our wide range of shared export activities and trade missions. Building on the inherent stability that allowed the Dutch superyacht sector to come though the turbulent times relatively unscathed, our members are now investing in the future with confidence.”
One example of these investments is the new yard that Feadship is due to open in Amsterdam next year. “Other yards and suppliers are also in talk with the Port of Amsterdam as they look to enhance their presence in the Dutch capital,” adds Sirag. “Add in our plans to establish Amsterdam more firmly as a major destination for superyachts heading through northern Europe and the Baltic and it is clear that Holland as a country is more than ever living up to its reputation as the world’s Yacht Valley.”
Photo credit superyacht HOME: Heesen Yachts
METS is the Premier European exhibition of equipment, materials, systems and services for the international leisure craft trade and industry.
METS is the number one platform for marine products. Meet distributors, dealers, retailers, wholesalers and representatives from the boat building, repair and design sectors in an international environment with visitors from over 90 countries. With at least 150 journalists from the trade press on the look out for news and product stories, the chances for networking are second to none.
Meet the Dutch Marine Equipment Suppliers in the Superyacht Pavilion Hall 10 and 11.
Heritage, Personality and Stability… and much more besides await you. Enjoy the Dutch hospitality and share your thoughts with specialists from every area of the Dutch superyacht industry. We look forward to seeing you in the HISWA Holland Yachting Group bar to give you all the information you need about our members!